How to Shop for Hand-made Soaps

  • Added:
    Aug 25, 2013
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How to Shop for Hand-made Soaps Photo by Mary Ferguson

Hand-made soaps or natural soaps are skin friendly and free from all those nasty toxic substances that our luxury and beauty bars from big brands try desperately to hide.

Nowadays there are a lot of scams about hand-made soaps. Commercial soaps are being labelled as hand-made and 100% natural. Their manufacturers simply buy a cheap soap base, melt it down and add a little essential oil to it and remake it to market it as a pricey hand-made soap. You don't have to be a part of this scam. Below are some of my tips to help you make a wise choice while buying a natural, hand-made soap.

Credibility of the Manufacturer:

This point should ALWAYS be carefully researched and checked whenever you are about to buy any product, especially products that you eat or use on yourself. Hand-made soaps are no exception. Whenever you go to buy a bar of natural soap make sure to check that the manufacturer has listed proper contact details and nothing on the label suggests that the soap is made by someone sitting at the bottom of the ocean.

The labels should also mention proper manufacturing and expiry dates as well as distributor's details.


Always carefully scan the ingredients mentioned on the label. If the soap mentions any chemicals like Sodium palmetate, discard it at once since it is definitely not a natural soap. Make sure that the oils listed are NOT in chemical names since this also indicates that the oils were “fractioned” and had most of their fatty oils, which are beneficial to the skin, removed.

A good hand-made soap will be super-fatted. In this process the lye (all soap is made using lye, excess lye causes a very strong caustic reaction on the skin) is converted to soap using lots of beneficial oils and not just that, some oils are left in excess within the soap to provide your skin with benefits that a manufactured bar would never be capable of.

A quality hand-made soap will promise to give you either one or more of the essential vitamins A, D, E, K, and F.


A good quality hand-made soap will never be cheap. Good natural products cost money and hence a natural soap will come with a slightly heavier price tag as comapred to commercial soaps. If you find a hand-made soap for a dirt cheap price, beware! It is either a scam or made using poor quality materials. The only exception is when quality hand-made soaps are on sale such as a clearance sale.

Shape and Colour:

Just because it looks really beautiful and intricate does not make it a quality hand-made soap. Intricate shapes and features in a soap bar can only be created by either a factory or by a very, very skilled soap maker. The second option is quite the rarity so it is suggested to avoid all those fancy looking soap bars. Hand- made soaps will have a rustic shape and feel to it.

Make sure that the soap bar is not transparent. Transparent soaps are always manufactured and never natural soaps.

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